The first step in locating hidden assets is having timely and accurate personal information of the other spouse. This should include the spouse’s full legal name, nickname(s) and known aliases along with current and past address information. It is also important to have the names, nickname(s) and aliases of family members or close friends who may assist the spouse in hiding assets along with their current and past address information.
Specific information concerning your spouse’s lifestyle may reveal the likelihood of hidden assets. Is your spouse a frequent traveler, when they travel what type of hotels do they frequent and what type of activities does your spouse engage in when they travel? Do they gamble, travel to banking havens or play golf? Who are their friends, what type of people are they and what are their interest?
Is your spouse’s monthly credit card and banking statements mailed to the marital home, the spouse’s office, or accessible only be email? Are there large amounts of cash under your spouse’s control? Who is your spouse’s accountant and who prepares your spouse’s tax return?
Your spouse’s tax returns for the past 3 to 5 years can be an excellent source of information in locating hidden assets. The tax returns will show income earning assets, the sale of assets and the source of all income such as wages, salaries, interest, dividends, rental income, business income and the gains and losses from the sale of stocks. Your spouse’s W2 will show whether your spouse has a deferred compensation plan.
Saving accounts and money market accounts could point to hidden assets such as stocks that pay a dividend or a bond that pays interest. Your spouse’s checking account could reveal the purchase of real property or other investments.
An important tool in locating hidden assets and unreported income is to conduct a lifestyle analysis and compare what your spouse reports as income to his or her lifestyle. What types of purchases is your spouse making, what kind of car does he or she drive, is there a boat or other like toys? Is there a disparity between the lifestyle your spouse leads and the income reported? If debt has not been increased and there was no inherited money then there is an excellent possibility that unreported income is supporting your spouse’s lifestyle and other hidden assets.
Jacksonville Divorce Attorney James T. Keenan has the experience and tools to uncover hidden assets and unreported income. For additional information on this or any family law matter call for a free consultation.